Supporting future generations through a collaborative approach to asset management maturity
Looking to improve the health and wellbeing of 63 Aboriginal communities in New South Wales, the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) engaged our team to assess the asset management maturity of the 33 providers in the Aboriginal Communities Water and Sewerage Program (Program) and develop a 30-year capital investment plan.
To help our understanding of the Program, we interviewed the Local Aboriginal Land Councils (LALC) by working with Indigenous Energy Australia. 85% of the LALC representatives rated the current water supply and sewerage services as at least generally satisfactory—this was a good starting point as we explored the community’s expectations for their water supply and sewerage services to meet changing demands. We also provided an overview of the extent, condition, and performance of the Program infrastructure and the maturity of the asset management practices of the service providers and detailed capital investment needed to sustain service levels in the medium and long terms.
Although geographic coverage of the Program is vast, and communities range from 10 to 400 people, themes arose from our recommendations. These included engaging with the community in culturally appropriate ways, increasing community involvement in the operation and maintenance of the assets, and shifting the focus of service agreements to a holistic asset management contract through the connections made with communities.
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